Agent Console for Service & Support

Salesforce.com April 2008 - December 2010

Personas Oct 2008 / Validated Concepts Aug 2009 / Admin Setup UI testing Sep 2010 / Product Release Dec 2010​

 

The Summary:

The Salesforce.com Service Cloud Team was interested in a complete redesign of their Agent Console, an approach for viewing Salesforce data that allowed related data objects to be displayed concurrently. The initial design offered little in terms of basic usability and the redesign needed to take a new approach while providing the necessary value to end users. With the support of the Lead Product Manager, the User Experience Team was asked to take the necessary steps to support this enterprise product overhaul.

 

Customer site visits gave us primary use cases to begin the design exploration, concept reviews with customers narrowed down the potential design directions, and prototype testing supported design refinement.

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The Issues:

Three 30-day Agile sprint cycles comprised a release cycle at the time and we had two release cycles available to us to accomplish our work, end-to-end. We also needed to demonstrate the value of the work to the Product organization, given the high cost of the travel, incentives, and the dedicated time of several project team members. We visited call centers as well as tech support teams to witness usage variations. Quick work was made of design sketches, used as artifacts in concept reviews with local customer end users. We relied on RITE-style usability testing in order to move quickly with developers to meet code freeze deadlines and release the product on time.

Methods Applied:

 

 

Contextual Inquiry

Concept Reviews

RITE Testing

Primary Role:

 

 

User Research Lead

Collaborators:

 

  • Lead Product Manager

  • Senior UI Designer

  • Senior Usability Analyst

  • Design Manager

Outcomes:

Product shipped in December 2010, the 'Winter 2010' product release.

Delivered two personas to the Service and Support team.

Demonstrated the utility of lo-fi concept reviews to the product team.  

Successful use of RITE-style testing to meet release deadlines. 

The new Agent Console was a highly-usable, single view, high-density UI supporting Call Center Agents in widely-ranging data entry activities. We also delivered a clear setup UI for administrators that supports both the new Console navigation model as well as novel data mapping configurations. 

 

The internal design process footprint for carrying research insights through to a released product served as a framework for other product teams. 

Research Details

Contextual Inquiry - Concept Validation  - RITE Testing

A core team representing product management, design, and research visited customers covering the standard tiers, from entry-level agents at high-throughput call centers to tech-savvy in-house support teams.
 
 
 
 
1 Contextual Inquiry
Visit target users where they work to better understand work patterns and needs. 
Product Manager conducting interview
Product Manager conducting interview

Customer Call Center

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Amber
Amber

High-volume, Low-tech

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Scott - Support Rep
Scott - Support Rep

Low-volume, high-tech

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Product Manager conducting interview
Product Manager conducting interview

Customer Call Center

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Work process and product photos
2 Review Concepts with Real Users
Work with local customer end users to review a high volume of concept sketches in order to hone in on the right approach early.
Local customers helped organize sets of their support agents to review batches of lo-fi wireframes and/or sketches of potential console designs. Attention was drawn to aspects viewed to hinder as well as help. Participants were asked to use their printouts for annotation and comments, which were collected and reviewed by the team. 
Within three rounds, the design direction was settled upon. 
Example comments 1
Example comments 1

Concept Review

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Example Comments 2
Example Comments 2

Concept Review

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Example comments 1
Example comments 1

Concept Review

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Example comments from concept reviews
3 RITE-style Usability Testing

We took a RITE-style approach to testing both the end user console UI and administrative UI.  Quick iterative rounds of testing helped designers make many adjustments, often on a session-by-session basis.  
Navigation through the new console using the 'sub tab' concept gave high-volume call center agents a measurable time savings, reducing stress levels and allowing them to focus on customer service. Quick tips and 'how to' videos were added to assist administrators with proper set up.

Salesforce Administrator Console Setup UI

New Agent Console user interface
Salesforce Administrator Console set up user interface

© 2017 by Peter Roessler.